Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

What is "Busy"?


At the start of my day I was already overwhelmed. The funny thing is, there was only one "meeting" (a social get-together) at 2:00. Otherwise, it was me, the kids, hubby (his day off before his big 7 day stretch)...and my unscheduled to-do's.

I currently have TEN windows open on my laptop.

  • 7 websites on which I want to follow up (send an email, purchase an item, read more...),

  • 2 word documents (one general reflection, the other - a starting outline for yet another idea for a workshop/event I'd like to plan), and

  • 1 Excel document containing the results of a school progress survey (for my son's school) I am helping to coordinate, evaluate, and move forward with.

This does not include the windows open on my desktop downstairs. I'm currently uploading photos and browsing another blog on that computer.

I have the following thoughts on my mind:

  • I need to update my blog (design), my photo site, and my yoga website (sadly neglected for months)

  • The laundry is mid-cycle -I need to finish it and get the sheets done.

  • The kiddos are playing on their own, but I should be interacting with them.

  • The garage is full of the clutter we cleared out of the house this summer. I really need to donate/sell/toss it so I can get my car in the garage...preferably in the next week.

  • I have a week left to finish 30+ holiday cards. Knowing my schedule, that amounts to at least 5 cards / day.

  • Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. The 4.5 mile run is NEXT WEEK. I have a ton of preparation to do for both of those.

I'll stop there -- it could go on but the list might cause the blog to lock up.

I'm constantly moving (naps really aren't in my schedule any more); I have a to-do list that grows by the second; and I keep adding to the things that are on my mind (creative projects, blogs to follow, friends to follow-up with, projects to finally finish around the house, workouts to do, etc). Between dinner, the kids' baths, story time, switching laundry, blah blah blah it is going to be an active night. Tomorrow is a PTO meeting where we present the results of the survey, I have (get) to do 5 (or 10) christmas cards...

And yet, I didn't go to work today. I didn't cook (yet). I had/made time for a delicious chat with a girlfriend over chai topped off with some vintage-goods shopping. I had no appointments, no business meetings, not even a doctors appointment. My husband was even here to help with the kids.

Time goes (flies) by, activities & energies wax and wane. It has become a status symbol, in a way, in our society to be Busy. ("Whew - what a day! I had 39 meetings, 412 phone calls, 5 lunches with corporate folks..." or " I have to run the kids to soccer then ballet then school then groccery shop then pick up the kids to run them to basketball then karate then music lessons then therapy...")

Yet what is "Busy"? Activites on the calendar? Enough on the schedule to justify being stressed? Every minute of the day accounted for?

I have none of those things, yet I would certainly consider today busy. My spirit was spinning, my creative juices flowing, my mind (unfortunately) chattering away. I kept moving and even when I wasn't, my mind kept my mouth gabbing and my thoughts spinning.

What do you consider busy? Would you consider a stay-at-home mom with nothing on her schedule busy? What about the CEO who took a 2 hour lunch in between 5 meetings - busy? The artist meditating on the next piece to be created - busy?

I'd contemplate the meaning and present a deep, moving definition here...but I'm busy.